To market, to market
By WAVENEY ANN MOORE
© St. Petersburg Times, published December 6, 2000
Happy holidays can be healthful too
ST. PETERSBURG -- Thoughts of cookies, candy and egg nog may be dancing in our heads, but nutritionists suggest combining these holiday temptations with healthy helpings of cabbage, corn, apples and pears. Right.
They're not being grinches, insists Dr. Linda Nebeling of the National Cancer Institute. Those concerned about our health simply are urging moderation amid what often becomes weeks of unfettered feasting.
Celebrations can still be healthful even for those who sit down to favorite ethnic and ancestral recipes, she said.
"We're just beginning to scratch the surface of all the wonderful ways that the different cultures prepare fruits and vegetables," said Nebeling, a nutritionist with the National Cancer Institute's Five A Day program.
This year the program, which encourages Americans to eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables a day, developed recipes drawing on some of the country's many cultures. It also is offering healthful suggestions for navigating the coming weeks. Advice includes adding an extra dollop of apple sauce to Hanukkah latkes, making holiday punch with 100 percent fruit juice and serving a bean and herb dip with the ubiquitous but often neglected vegetable tray.
"The holiday season is a time when people get together to celebrate with their family and friends," Nebeling said.
But, she said, "The key word is moderation. ... There will be opportunities to enjoy foods and fancy dishes that are traditional in your family that you normally will not have every day. The trick is not to deprive yourself, but to enjoy things in moderation.
"When you go to the holiday buffet for the holiday dinner, take a small portion to enjoy and savor the flavor. And as a counterpart to that, you load your plate up not only with the savory bits, but an appropriate balance of fruit, vegetable salad and plenty of fruits and vegetables. They are going to be lower in calories. They are going to be very tasty, and they are going to be prepared in nice, seasonal ways."
This month shop for apples, avocados, broccoli, snap beans, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, grapefruit, lettuce, kumquats, pears, bell peppers, persimmons, radishes, winter squash, sweet potatoes, tangerines, tangelos, tomatoes and cherimoyas.
At Save on Seafood in St. Petersburg, Gib Migliano is preparing for the usual crowd of holiday shoppers. In particular, he stocks up on delicacies craved by customers of German, Italian, Hispanic, Portuguese, Jewish and Caribbean ancestry.
The list is long and includes specialties such as live and smoked eel, bacalao or salted cod, calamari, octopus, carp, whitefish, whole snapper, lox, gravlax, smelts, smoked salmon, smoked chubs, cooked conch, kippers and scungilli.
Migliano issues a word of warning, though.
"If people want to order special products for the holiday, they should order around the 15th of the month, so we will have it in here for pickup from the 20th on," he said. "We don't want to disappoint anybody."
Live eel will cost about $9.95 a pound, while smoked eel will be about $16.95 a pound. Expect to pay about $5.99 a pound for bacalao, $3.99 a pound for scungilli, $3.99 a pound for octopus and $2.99 a pound for mussels, Migliano said.
Whole snapper, a holiday favorite with Cuban families, will sell for about $4.29 a pound, he said. Smoked salmon will cost about $9.99 a pound, fresh whole carp $1.99 a pound, whitefish $3.99 a pound and pickerel $3.99 a pound.
Shrimp also will be available for holiday parties.
Jumbo shrimp will sell for about $13.99 a pound and medium shrimp for about $7.99 a pound, Migliano said.
"Most everybody wants cooked, peeled, deveined shrimp for Christmas," he said.
4 pounds yams (sweet potatoes may also be used)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 crisp red or green apple, cored movemarg,11p11
and diced (leaving the peel on is fine)
2 tablespoons pecans, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Poke a few fork holes in each yam and bake them until soft, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. For the last 7 minutes of baking, toast the pecans in the same oven after spreading them on a small baking sheet.
Let the yams cool for 15-20 minutes, then scoop out the contents and mash them with a large fork. Gently stir in the raisins, apples and pecans. Transfer to a decorative dish and serve. Serves 8.
Source: 5 a Day Recipes.
Spiced Squash Soup
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, chopped
2medium carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup tomato puree
2 fresh hot chilies, seeded and chopped
2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cubed
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth (remove fat)
Pepper to taste
Salt to taste (optional)
In a large non-aluminum saucepan, warm the butter over medium heat, Stir in the onions, carrots and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes and then cover the pan. Lower heat and cook for 3-4 more minutes, until the vegetables are very tender. Stir in the tomato puree, chilies, butternut squash and chicken broth. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
Mash the squash pieces with a potato masher or the back of a spoon (the soup does not need to be completely smooth), season to taste (optional) and serve. Pass lime wedges to be squeezed into each bowl of soup. Serves 8.
Source: 5 a Day Recipes.
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